Evangelical - Unification Dialogue

Heresy and Cooperation

Rod Sawatsky: I wonder if we can switch gears again, and introduce one more subject -- the question of heresy. I think there's no doubt that the Evangelicals consider the Unification people heretics...

Jonathan Wells: And also some other Evangelicals! (laughter)

Rod Sawatsky: ... and I sense that most of the Unification people aren't too upset about being considered heretics: in fact, they own that category for themselves, in terms of the Christian orthodox tradition. But the question that I'd like to raise for the Evangelicals is this: "Is Unification Christian?"

Paul Eshleman: I think that whole area is one of the questions I had to wrestle with the most before even coming to the last dialogue here, and I think that before coming someone from the Unification church may not have understood the things going through the mind of an Evangelical. The Moonies say, "Why can't we simply have fellowship? Yes, we have disagreements, but why can't we simply get together?" There is a very strong allegiance by most Evangelicals to the scriptural passages which say "Whosoever preaches any other gospel outside of this one, let him be accursed -- Come out from among them and be separate. ... Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness." These kinds of Scriptures come to the mind of an Evangelical as he relates to a doctrine of heresy leading people not to trust fully in Jesus for their salvation. These verses cause a person to ask himself, "Am I doing something that really is against a direct commandment of Scripture by coming to have fellowship?" At the same time that those words go through the evangelical mind, there are also the commandments of Jesus to love one another. I just give that as a context for the discussion so that there's a realization on the Unification side that these are questions probably not totally sorted out in everyone's mind. And because Evangelicals rarely come in contact with outright heresy -- usually it's doctrine-splitting items between denominations -- these are issues that haven't been dealt with very often.

Frank Kaufmann: In light of that, when it really becomes a matter of how an Evangelical responds to a command in Scripture, then I'd like to consider more precisely what heresy is and the question: Is the Unification church, in the most strict and most serious sense of that word, heretical? Then the word heresy isn't just our usual joke, considering how the Evangelical has to respond to the Unification church. I personally don't consider Unification doctrine heretical.

Rod Sawatsky: What do Unification people say? Do you call your faith Christian heresy? Do you call yourself Christian? I wonder how many Unification people would not consider themselves Christians.

Paul Eshleman: There are some.

Rod Sawatsky: What I sense is that some don't.

Franz Feige: I think that when we Unificationists refer to ourselves as Christians, we mean something different perhaps than orthodox or evangelical Christians do when they refer to themselves as Christian.

Rod Sawatsky: Let's let Evangelical Y go first.

Evangelical Y: It seems to me that words, to have any function in language, have to have boundaries. And the question I would raise to Unification people would be this: Are Christian Scientists Christian? Are Jehovah's Witnesses Christian? Are Mormons Christian? If the answer is yes, then I'll go on and try Jews and Zoroastrians and Buddhists, until I find the answer "no." Then I'll begin to work my way back and ask how you sorted them out. And I would object to using the word "Christian" for Unification theology on the same ground that I object to using "democratic" for East Germany or some of the Eastern European countries. Because, it seems to me to mean something fundamentally different from what I mean by the word "democratic," and that isn't a very helpful thing to take a word that has a reasonably established meaning and toss it over to cover a whole bunch of other things that just weren't originally covered by that term.

Richard Quebedeaux: Yes, but if you don't like to refer to the Unification movement as Christian, in view of what people have said here, does that mean that Unification people are not Christian? Or if they are, is that by accident, or because they don't understand Unification theology thoroughly enough?

Evangelical Y: Well, now, we're making a distinction, aren't we, between the Unification movement as a movement and as an institution versus individuals in it.

Richard Quebedeaux: Right. But if individuals are in a movement which is not Christian, but they are Christian, is that an accident? Do you know what I mean?

Patrick Means: Not necessarily. You take the movement, for instance, of Witness Lee and the "Local Church." My experience has been that the majority of the members in that movement are born-again Christians, in that case, primarily because their whole proselytizing strategy is to go to new Christians and suck them into that movement. Their doctrine, however, is heretical in a couple of key areas, and we couldn't label the movement as a Christian movement or a Christian belief system despite the many Christians within it. The Christians are there because of the strategy of the parent organization. I'm not saying that's the strategy here.

Richard Quebedeaux: I'm not sure that I would agree with you that it's not a Christian movement. I would call Witness Lee's "Local Church" a heretical (or heterodox) Christian movement; I personally would call the Mormons a non-Christian movement. And heterodoxy isn't quite as bad as heresy. Or so orthodox Christians would say.

Jonathan Wells: We need a more precise definition of what Christian is.

Warren Lewis: That is exactly what I was going to say. It'll turn into a semantic wrangle if we're not careful, but we do need to get our definitions clear. Is a Christian a person who belongs to Christ? (Which, I take it, was the New Testament meaning.) Is a Christian a person who thinks he's a Christian and tells you so? Or, is a person a Christian who you think is a Christian? Can you be a heretic and still be a Christian? If you're heretical, if you're in error, if you're non-biblical, in some of your doctrine, in the majority of your doctrine, can you still be a Christian? Is a Catholic a Christian if he still believes that the Blessed Virgin is the mediatrix of grace along with her Son?

Rod Sawatsky: We have several comments open. Do you have anything?

Evangelical X: The Christian is an impossible notion. Besides, it just doesn't work when we're talking about individuals. I think you have to hold to institutional theologies or positions, because if you get down to individuals it's impossible. Finally, anyway, it's God's business.

Warren Lewis: Is the Divine Principle, then, as a system of theology, a Christian one? What characteristics would it have to portray in order to be a Christian system of theology?

Johnny Sonneborn: I would hope that either your impression of this dialogue or the previous dialogue will give you a basis for understanding our position. This is how I would summarize the situation: the Unification position has agreed with important aspects of the evangelical position -- except on the questions of the second coming and whether or not Jesus intended to die, but for me these are not crucial differences. What's crucial is what's left to be done! Of course the Evangelicals here have not agreed with the Divine Principle position on the second coming, but the Evangelicals themselves are not sure what is going to happen at the second coming. Therefore we are preaching, in my judgment, the same gospel. But we're also adding some understandings -- everybody has to, to a certain extent, in order to live -- and these can be debated as to whether or not they are dangerous understandings. I hope you would not say that we are not Christians.

Paul Eshleman: That's the same gospel in India, though. I pick up a little thing that in India or other cultures it may not be so necessary to believe or trust in Christ as personal Savior.

Johnny Sonneborn: I'd also like to say, suppose the Divine Principle is wrong and Jesus comes on the clouds, then what will happen to us? First of all, in that case we will see Him, and also He will gather to Him not those saying, "Lord," not those with a bright theology, but those who acted and cared for other people. And maybe also those who were not ashamed of Him. And also Jesus said anyone who was healing or exorcising in His name was not to be hindered. So maybe we would be those Christians.

Evangelical X: I would think the Apostles' Creed would be a good test of who is or is not a Christian. Warren Lewis: What's your chapter and verse for use of the Apostles' Creed there, brother? That's good second century Christianity.

Evangelical X: I mean, you have to start somewhere, and I say most of the evangelical churches would agree on the Apostles' Creed. If you want chapter and verse, of course, you can go through it and then go to the Scriptures.

Jonathan Wells: Is that true, Richard?

Richard Quebedeaux: That's a confessional credal position. I would say that more universal among Evangelicals is that we start with the Bible. The creed is a testimony to the truth rather than a requirement. I happen to feel that a lot of people who join your movement do become Christians in the process, but they may go beyond that belief-wise. I think it's the "beyond" that is wrong, yet much of the practice beyond that is right. That's why you're a judgment on us "orthodox" Evangelicals.

Sharon Gallagher: I really want to ask just one thing that will help clarify some of this discussion for me before we get into all Evangelicals saying what a Christian is. It relates to something Paul asked about for Hindus. "O.K.," he said, "some of the members in your group wouldn't consider themselves as Christians; some would." Do the people who consider themselves Christian in the Unification church do so because that was their second step? In other words, they were born into a Christian culture. If you went to Japan and someone was into Confucianism would you see that as the preparation for accepting the third advent? Would you preach Jesus Christ?

Johnny Sonneborn: Yes. Jesus Christ. And many people who weren't Christian before they came to the Unification church consider themselves Christians now because Rev. Moon has identified himself as a Christian, and he's urged us to. Yet you've all been given, by people who are critical of us, selections from Master Speaks and passages from it, and from training manuals, but once you read a large quantity of Master Speaks you'll find out that what he's teaching us about Jesus is that he's exalting Him, and teaching us to love Jesus and walk Jesus' way or come to His standard.

Anthony Guerra: It is interesting to note that recently a few missionaries to Islamic countries asked Rev. Moon if they could teach the Divine Principle with less Christian emphasis. He said, point blank, "no" to that request.

Nora Spurgin: I wanted to comment on that. Actually this has happened. We have our own little territories within our own movement that are trying to relate the Divine Principle to other cultures, especially our missionaries who are out there translating Divine Principle into these languages. The question has come up frequently, and always the answer is absolute. The Divine Principle stands as it is, going straight through the Christian concept of salvation through Jesus Christ. Therefore, the desire to translate the D.P. from a Koran point of view using Koran verses -- which are very supporting many times -- is absolutely forbidden; you can't do it. The same thing did happen in Japan, where some of our members tried to do it from a Buddhist point of view and Rev. Moon came through and said absolutely not. So our Japanese members many times become much more devout Christians than we are. They're reading the Bible. Why? Because they don't have that background and they have to gain it in order to understand the Divine Principle.

Mark Branson: I see a basic problem which permeates everything, so I really disagree with Richard. I see that you've got a different definition of sin, a different definition of what happened on the cross, a different definition of salvation, a different definition of glorification. I believe that once Jesus is not the one trusted for salvation, you do not have a Christian system. That's crucial. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't Christians in the movement. I have to say that, as a Christian, I understand the theology to be far wide of Christianity.

Richard Quebedeaux: Let me ask you, are they not trusting Jesus for salvation? Let's not talk definitions. Are they? Or aren't they?

Mark Branson: I'd say they teach "Jesus plus other ingredients."

Richard Quebedeaux: But that's different.

Warren Lewis: So do the Catholics.

Evangelical Y: The church ran up against a parallel situation in the second century when it had to deal with gnosticism. They used the same vocabulary that the church used but the church said, "You mean by this something very different," and it totally excluded gnosticism. I hear the same vocabulary being used, but I hear very different kinds of meanings being put into it, so I have to say it's a very, very parallel situation, and I don't see it as being Christian at all. It's the same vocabulary, but different kinds of concepts are being used.

Richard Quebedeaux: Gnosticism is a heresy. We're talking about heresy. Pelagianism was a heresy. But there are degrees of heresy. Would you say that all Pelagians weren't Christians?

Evangelical Y: I'm not talking about who's Christian. I'm talking about...

Richard Quebedeaux: Yeah, O.K., but we are talking about systems of heresy. Now Mark said, "Trusting Jesus." I know that when Unification people speak they do use different definitions. I'm not so sure that it's altogether a different definition. I think there is a spectrum of meaning within the definitions. I don't think all Evangelicals agree on what salvation is. Jim Wallis of Sojourners does not agree with Bill Bright (of Campus Crusade) on what salvation is, and his new book, I think, is going to show that. Now that's what I'm talking about. This whole issue of heresy versus orthodoxy -- that's the problem.

Patricia Zulkosky: I guess for me it's hard to really get into this whole topic. The way I deal with the whole question is very simple. I think the way of life that Jesus taught is the most essential. I went to the Jesus '78 rally last year, which I understand was charismatic and not evangelical, and Jim Bakker, from the Praise the Lord television show, told a story that made an impact on my life such that I can't accuse anyone of heresy.

Jim Bakker was getting criticized for having all of these heretics and other people on his television show who weren't fundamental. And so he really had to pray about it and ask God, "Well, what am I supposed to do?" and the message he received, and the message that's become the slogan for my life is, "You love them, and I'll judge them." I can't know what's going on inside the hearts of people, and if I make judgments such that I fail to love, then I'm definitely not Christian. Therefore, for me that one sentence has been the most powerful thing in my life, when it comes to loving people regardless of their system of belief. I think I can really say, "I'm Christian" and do really what Jesus said to do.

Jonathan Wells: Just two points. One, two years ago Herb Richardson asked a class of students here at the seminary from all different religious backgrounds to take one of two positions: that the Divine Principle, that is, the theological position of the church, is a new Christian interpretation of the Scripture; or that the Divine Principle is post-Christian, going beyond the Scriptures. And I was in the class, and it split right down the middle. I mean, not physically, but half and half. O.K.? So, the membership of the Unification church does not have an unequivocal answer to this question that we're discussing. That's one point.

Now the other point is a more confessional point on my part, and I'm not going to try to answer the question, except from a confessional standpoint. Too many times in the past four or five years I've found myself defending Unification theology, and in the course of that defending, at some risk to myself, God's creatorship, original sin, and the perfection and sinlessness of Jesus Christ. I think Evangelicals, more than any other class of Christians, know that the way you come to love Jesus most is by putting yourself out for Him. I mean, a love relationship is not a passive thing. And I just want you to know that Moonies risk something to defend Jesus in a world that has pretty much turned away from Him. Now, you may disagree with some of the other things that we say, but you can't take that away from us.

Paul Eshleman: I think, Jonathan, there's really good evidence to the fact that there has been much interaction between individuals about Moon and Christ. However, when you say that Rev. Moon is somehow on a par with Christ, you're denying the plan of God that everything would be summed up in Jesus. I can't put that together. As soon as I think of Rev. Moon and people praying to Moon or thinking about him...

Jonathan Wells: We don't pray to Rev. Moon.

Paul Eshleman: Well, meditating about him, thinking about him in their thoughts, dreaming, looking at his picture, all these kinds of things in a meditative situation. "Sometimes I think of Jesus, sometimes I think of Moon -- I can't think of them apart from each other" -- that's what just throws me, and throws me toward the heresy side.

Johnny Sonneborn: A couple of things. We tend to dream and think of Rev. Moon because we love him. You do with people you love, and it's different from thinking of God. He's not God.

The Lord of the Second Advent is not God in our theology. We think that all things were summed up in Jesus and they're actualized by the Lord of the Second Advent. It's a broadening out. It's doing greater things which Jesus promised every Christian can do.

Paul Eshleman: If you would say that Jesus is higher than Moon I would feel a lot better. Jesus is higher than Moon.

Johnny Sonneborn: Sorry, I can't make you feel better on that.

First of all, we're a movement, we've a theology, and we're individuals. As a movement there isn't a single Unification person who doesn't want the whole country, America, the whole country of Korea, to turn to Jesus Christ. Maybe we don't know the right way of doing it and you do, but we have a strong desire, I mean, we always hope that Campus Crusade is going to turn everyone to Christ. We want Christ to be Lord. Those are the conditions for whatever else may happen. And also, Rev. Moon has said, and I don't think you'll find it in print, when he was giving instructions to a group of people who were being prepared to be married very shortly, that what you really must do to be blessed is to love God more than anyone else, and the standard for this is to love God as Jesus loved God. So Jesus was the standard in this way. I think this is an example of how he exalts Jesus to us.

Warren Lewis: That's really the right question. Where the piety is at is where the theological rhetoric has had its greatest impact. Whatever's tucked away in a "Black Book" somewhere, we can debate; but where does the movement live? Theology aside, I would say that Moonie preoccupation with the person and work of Rev. Moon is no more pervasive than some Catholic preoccupation with the Blessed Virgin, yet, we've learned not to excommunicate the Catholics. Rev. Moon himself is the paradigm of his movement; you have to take his person seriously. It was after all Jesus -- not Buddha, not Confucius, not Mohammed -- who appeared to Rev. Moon on the Korean mountainside in 1936. Now what do we Protestants do with Lourdes? With Fatima? With La Salette? Did she or didn't she? And if she did, what does it mean -- for the grace of God, for continuing revelation, for the fact that God didn't retire 2,000 years ago, and that He might really do a new thing, a genuinely revelatory new thing in this world? Of course, the Catholics believe that He did by allowing the apparition of the Blessed Virgin. Now, in complete parallel to that, it was even God Himself, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who, Rev. Moon says, appeared to him, and said, "Finish my work." That's what the Unificationists are trying to do: finish Jesus' work for Him. Now, isn't that Christian?

Joseph Hopkins: We Evangelicals see this as just one such phenomenon among many. Joseph Smith claimed that the Lord appeared to him in visions, too. Many other religious leaders have made similar claims -- all of them in total contradiction to one another. So somebody has to be wrong. And we assume, from an evangelical viewpoint, that they're all wrong. In other words, and I don't mean this unkindly, they are all false prophets.

Johnny Sonneborn: Rev. Moon implores you, for your sake, to be humble about your beliefs, because so many people have thought they understood something, but there was more. This happened in Jesus' time and to other Christians many different times. You can't be sure that what you understand is revealed gospel.

Evangelical X: What about all those warnings that false prophets would arise in the latter days and deceive many, and so on?

Warren Lewis: But what you're saying is, "no prophets." You're not just saying "reject the false ones," you're saying, "no more prophets at all."

Evangelical X: If what they come up with coincides or is in harmony with the Bible as we understand it, then it's O.K.

Warren Lewis: You're operating there with an exclusiveness paradigm. But the Moonies are suggesting, and Catholics would have to agree, as would Mormons, that a paradigm change is needed. God is a God of pluralism, not uniformity; but in your psychological insecurity, when you exclude everybody but those who agree with you, that's an old-style paradigm which simply cannot cope with the reality of the world as the creation of the God who loves dappled things. God does not contradict Himself, you see.

Evangelical X: We find in the new movements contradictions to what the Bible seems to teach clearly about the nature of Christ, the nature of man, the way of salvation, and so on.

Jonathan Wells: You see, your interpretation of the Bible is inherently self-contradictory, as we realized earlier.

Johnny Sonneborn: The point is that it seems to you to contradict what seems to you to be the right interpretation of the Bible. But they said the same, too, of Jesus -- they judged Him as a law-breaker and all these things. Divine Principle goes to great lengths to explain this, for our caution, not for any other reason. That's also one of the reasons for talking about how Jesus failed to be accepted; it's a message to us Christians now.

Warren Lewis: During the wars of religion we Arminians and Calvinists and Catholics and Lutherans were drowning one another and burning one another at the stake because of the point of view you have just expressed. Haven't we learned after four

hundred years that that kind of rationalist approach just doesn't embrace all the reality there is?

Sharon Gallagher: I really feel that I have to say that in reading, to prepare for this weekend, a lot of the writings of Rev. Moon I was overwhelmed by his sense of blasphemy. I see him perpetrating for himself the descriptions that we have for Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Thomas Bower: My comment will follow somewhat on that. I think that as an Evangelical, I'm sensitive to anything that comes on the scene as being defensible biblically. I had hoped that I could be a bit more exposed to Unification thinking about messiahship, and I have in private conversations. We haven't done a lot with it in a group. I have a feeling that although the definition of messiahship is probably quite new to me, that it may be defensible biblically, or at least plausible, and for me that's the crux of the issue: whether or not this is heresy or not, when Moon says these things about himself. What is the content of messiahship that allows him to do that? There's a whole pile of things there that I don't know and I have to reserve a whole lot of judgment until I study that issue.

Franz Feige: You know, Jesus Himself said very clearly what a Christian is. He didn't give us any creed. Did He give us a creed? I think He said, "You will know them by their fruits." It's very general. And He said another thing, that there are only two commandments that He gives us. The one is, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart..." (that comes from both the Old and New Testaments) and the other one, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." I believe somebody who lives by that spirit lives according to Christ and lives with Christ, whether he's a Hindu, a Baptist, a Catholic, an Evangelical, or a Moonie. Christ did not give us a rational explanation. He really left it very open. I think we should not impose our own judgment upon it. Let's leave it open by Christ's words. Let us know them by their fruits.

Dan Davies: I agree with you in this respect, Franz, that that's the great commandment. I think it's also true, frankly, that anyone who really lives by that way will come to know Jesus Christ. You're right on target. I think that should be our focus. We should live loving God and all mankind.

Charles Barfoot: I'd just like to throw out a couple of things.

In my studies in theology and sociology of religion, I found that the worst thing that happened to pentecostalism, number one, was that it was influenced early by fundamentalism, and that, secondly, it became evangelical. In pentecostalism there was a spirit, there was a finding of truth, not in dogma but in dance, and those were beautiful days. Now pentecostalism is blending with everything else. So for me to become a Presbyterian was really no big switch. But it's the genuine sense of community I miss. I still feel at home, I guess, theologically, in a Presbyterian church. But I think what you people have -- that spirit of community, you're brothers and sisters -- I'll be hard put to find in the mainline church, or in an evangelical church. I worked in the fourth largest Presbyterian church in the U.S. -- a church which considered itself evangelical as well -- and if I ever have to repent for a year wasted of my life, it was that year. I don't sense a lot of that hostility here; there's a uniqueness here, and I'm saying that more I guess out of being a sociologist of religion than anything else.

Patrick Means: Let me just say something which I'm sure that all of us Evangelicals feel. There's never an excuse for a lack of love on our part toward you, and for those instances where well-motivated individuals have mistreated you, and have not related in love to you the way Christ would have us, we ask your forgiveness. We want to relate in love toward you because Christ commands us to do that and He empowers us to do that. I don't think as long as we have an agreement and a covenant among ourselves, Evangelicals, to be doing that toward our friends here in the Unification church, that we're going to see a new holy war break out. But the issue of loving you is a different issue than agreeing with your doctrine as it stands.

Evangelical X: I can say Amen to that.

Warren Lewis: Your personal attitude is great; it's your grasp of the situation that's rotten.

Evangelical X: I hope I'm not coming through as one who hates the Moonies or puts them down or as one who is about to lead an inquisition against the Moonies or anything like that. It's just a matter of what you identify as heresy. And that is what we're talking about. My spirit is one of love and I want to communicate that.

Warren Lewis: It's important for me to say that I acknowledge that: I am not impugning your motive or your love. But if it weren't for the federal court system in the United States, there would already be a holy war going on because of the deprogramming activities that have been unconstitutionally perpetrated against Moonies and other new religionists, precisely by American, middle-class Evangelicals, linked up with religionless hucksters. Fortunately, because of the separation of Church and State, and constitutional protections, it isn't going to get anywhere. It's being stopped; American civil liberties have protected them. But let's not forget that by fixing these nasty stigmas "heretic" and "cult" with all of their historical meaning, the National Council of Churches and the media and you all in a fine spirit of the Dark Ages are saying, "Open season on Moonies!"

Rod Sawatsky: I think we're going to stop right here, if for no other reason than simple exhaustion, (laughter) Dinner is at 6:30. We've an hour to recover a little. See you all there.


Rod Sawatsky: What we want to do is continue the question of how Evangelicals read Unification and Unification reads Evangelicals, but in this case we want to begin by talking about what, if anything, Unificationists and Evangelicals can do together. Is there any kind of enterprise, say in the area of concern for religious liberty or for social issues, that these two groups can do together? Can heretics and evangelical Christian people proceed together?

I'd like to ask the people here from, for example, Campus Crusade and Inter-Varsity if you would allow Unification people to work with you in building the kingdom of God.

Patrick Means: Why do you pick on us? (laughter)

Rod Sawatsky: I had to pick on somebody! (laughter)

Patrick Means: Could you work with them in the Mennonite church? (laughter)

Rod Sawatsky: My answer is no! (laughter)

Paul Eshleman: I think the question is an attempt to understand what the Scriptures, as we interpret and understand them in Campus Crusade, say about having fellowship with those who do not preach the gospel. I think that we spent the day trying to ask, does the Unification church approach the basics of the Christian faith in a way that would allow us that kind of working together situation? Because I can't hear that Jesus is greater than Rev. Moon, I sense that He is not the only begotten Son of God, our Savior, and that pushes me in a direction that the doctrine is heretical. Because of this and other obvious teachings that border on blasphemy, I would be disobedient to Scripture to enter into any united venture.

Could I ask it from the other way? Why would Moonies want to work with the Evangelicals?

Rod Sawatsky: O.K., let's ask that question.

Anthony Guerra: There's a large area of activity that our church is involved in right now, from social programs in Harlem to daily newspapers and, of course, several direct witnessing and teaching programs. For some of those programs we probably would gladly work with any organization or individuals who would be willing to help. In our view of restoration, we believe that we have to carry out activity on all levels. Our primary activity in the church, of course, is spiritual: witnessing and teaching. But at the same time we feel responsibility for social programs and we would want to work with anyone with the necessary preparation in carrying out the work of God. I know we certainly wouldn't require anyone to sign a confessional statement.

Paul Eshleman: You wouldn't want anybody around, though, that thought Rev. Moon was just another man.

Anthony Guerra: Well, I'm not sure about that. We certainly have worked with people who don't think of Rev. Moon one way or the other. I would certainly find it uncomfortable to work with anyone who had a very disparaging view of Rev. Moon, but I would be uncomfortable with anyone who had a very disparaging view of any human being.

Dan Davies: It may be good to draw a distinction between working with somebody and joining them. I think it's all right to have your own convictions and faith and to work with somebody else who has his own convictions and faith. Let me make that clear. But if we work on a common project, this is not saying you believe what I believe.

Mark Branson: The difference is between co-believers and co-belligerents. Inter-Varsity has published a book which disagrees with the Unification church and discourages deprogramming. Being identified as a common fellowship, with the appearance of agreeing on the same motivation, the same ultimate goals, would not be acceptable.

Warren Lewis: It's a characteristic of Rev. Moon's whole program that the people who follow him shall cooperate in every possible way with all the religions of the world; and that doesn't exclude evangelical Christians. Christianity is conceived of as the highest religion on earth. Whether the Unification church itself is Christian or not, it has a built-in, permanent respect for the spiritual pinnacle of Christianity. I head up a project here to convene a global congress of world religions, and I'm in daily contact with all kinds of religions all around the world which, I must say, are much more irenic and ecumenical than half you Evangelicals. Take the Anglicans, for example. I went over to England and talked to Archbishop George Appleton, who used to be Bishop of Jerusalem and ran the World Congress of Faiths, and has lived all over the world. I came in and sat down, and he said, "I'm not interested in what the newspapers say. Just tell me about the man." You know how I talk and what my characteristic comments are; I was my characteristic self in his presence. At the end of an hour of talk as fast and hard as we could go, his comment was, "Well, unless there's something more that I don't know about" (and I told him more than I've told you) "there's no reason why we can't cooperate with you people."

Charles Barfoot: I'm sitting here with a mental picture of Sproul Plaza in Berkeley 3,000 miles away: there are three tables that you pass by if you go through there; one's Campus Crusade, one's CARP, one's Inter-Varsity. I wonder how much dialogue goes on among those three tables. I have a suspicion that they're almost like competing gas stations, (laughter)

Warren Lewis: They don't honor one another's credit cards.

Tom Carter: Somebody here mentioned causes. I'd like to address that and put it in a very broad perspective. God's three problems, the three problems that God has with the world, as we see it, are the decline of Christianity, the rise of immorality, and specifically, the rise of communism, which we think is a problem for all religions. So, in that kind of a broad perspective, as Warren said, we would be willing to work with just about anybody on those kinds of issues.

Tirza Shilgi: I think that a good example is this very seminary. The seminarians will become the leaders of our church, and Rev. Moon himself hired the faculty, ten of whom are not members of our church. So, speaking about cooperation, he took people that are not of our faith to educate the leadership of our church. You can't go much further than that, and they don't have any guidelines about what to say, what to teach, or anything. Warren can tell you that better than I can, but I think that's a pretty good example. That's Rev. Moon's direction, and he's not involved in the curriculum here at all; he doesn't give anybody direction.

Evangelical X: I bet you come pretty well steeped in Unification theology before you get here, though.

Patricia Zulkosky: Not necessarily. It depends on our previous experience in the church; a number of people have come from fundraising teams which have been fundraising two, or three, or four years. This means the only studying they did was on their own and not through any formal, systematic training. Some people volunteer to go on fundraising teams after having formal education of maybe a 7-day or at most a 21-day workshop. So many students have a very fundamental understanding of the Principle when they get here, and we don't have any formal Principle classes at the seminary, with the exception of one called Unification Theology and Christian Thought, which is a comparison of Unification theology to traditional Christian thought. Any other study is completely the extra-curricular activity of the students.1

Thomas Bower: Rod, this comment may be just bit tangential, but maybe not. I can think of two areas where the Unificationists can help m e in my work. One is dialogue with Islam. I think the Evangelicals are getting into that now in a more realistic, comprehensive way than they have been ever. And the Unificationists may have some insights there, at least on a dialogical level.

The other thing is that when Virgil asked me if I'd be interested in coming out, I thought, "What do I really want to learn from those people?" I'm not sure I'm going to learn it now because we're just going to run out of time, but I work with young people at a university, and I said, "Virgil, I'd like to know what those people are doing with what I consider to be the two most profound problems of our society: number one, sexuality; number two, authority." Perhaps these are separate agenda items, Rod, that we don't want to introduce, but they are agenda items that I think we could usefully tackle sometime.

Rod Sawatsky: Well, Tom raised the question of being able to do things against communism. I know many Evangelicals who are very concerned about communism, and I know a lot of Evangelicals who are very concerned about immorality, and those are two key concerns of Unification. These are two areas where the two groups seem to have a common task.

Dan Davies: There's one further area -- the decline of Christianity, or in other words, a need for the revival of Christian values. I think that's also a major concern for the Evangelicals.

Richard Quebedeaux: I just want to raise some questions. I don't expect answers but I have to raise the question. For example, Campus Crusade put together two programs called "Here's Life, America," and the "I Found It" campaign. Apparently, Campus Crusade had a set of standards about what churches could participate in this. Right? In terms of the basic Christian tradition, I happen to know that there were churches with ministers who as "functional atheists" were in "Here's Life" because the congregation may have wanted them, and the ministers said O.K. Is that bad? Is it worth working with a liberal Protestant who is a functional atheist? I say that with charity. Is it more O.K. working with him or her than working with a Moonie who is not?

Patrick Means: For clarification, it was up to the individual organizing committees in each city, committees made up of pastors, not Crusade staff, to decide who they would cooperate with.

Richard Quebedeaux: An hypothesis: Let's suppose that another situation parallel to Nazi Germany arises where the Christians, the believers, become the minority, and must resist. Would the Evangelicals refuse to cooperate with the Moonies in resistance to this sort of situation? What if the Moonies and Inter-Varsity, or some other group, are working underground in a communist country, and the same sort of resistance problems come. Are you going to say, "I can't resist with you. We're just going to have to work alone." It's interesting that the ecumenical movement was born on the mission field because of the competition when people there said, "Well, should I go with the Baptists or should I go with the Presbyterians? The Baptists say I have to be baptized by immersion; the Presbyterians say I don't." So the missionaries found out they had to get together or people wouldn't believe. I mean, they wouldn't know what to believe. They'd be confused. I think we're so much in an American context where there's so much freedom, maybe we ought to start thinking about a situation where there's persecution. Then we'll say, "Can we work together?" O.K.? Then, a harder issue is that of Evangelical statements of faith. I have the feeling that a lot of Moonies could sign many of those statements of faith with integrity. Wouldn't that be interesting? (laughter)

On the issue of social action, let's say, very few evangelical organizations have social action as a priority because they have other things to do. Campus Crusade has evangelism established as a priority. But almost all evangelical organizations feel that they need, somehow, to get into social action. What if the Moonies, with other people, put together some inner-city organization or work where there's a concrete possibility of really helping raise the oppressed? Wouldn't it be better, easier, for an evangelical organization to plug into that organization by sending representatives, than having to do it alone? I think that's one of the problems -- that we need to work cooperatively because we just don't have the time and the personnel to do it ourselves. If our goals are the same in raising the oppressed in the city, say, through whatever means, is it O.K.? Religious liberties are something I think we'll get into a little later, but I would hope there would be some possible cooperation there.

Christians are commanded biblically to love not only one another, but even our enemies, which is the ultimate love. Evangelicals have for too long spiritualized love. It's so easy to say, "I love you," and do nothing about it. Words are words. I don't like the idea expressed this way: "Well, we're not going to persecute you. We'll tolerate you, but we're certainly not going to have any kind of fellowship with you." That is not love, that certainly isn't agape, because agape is self-giving, unconditional love. What is unconditional love? How do you demonstrate to somebody that you really love them unconditionally? That is, I think, the fundamental issue. Furthermore, I think that is the fundamental issue of the New Testament message, and that's what I have to grapple with in this whole business of relationships -- not just working relationships but fellowship. I don't have an answer to that, but if we as Evangelicals and you as Moonies begin to contemplate that, and pray about it and think about it, we're going to come up with some very interesting answers, because I don't think we have ever really thought about it. We've thought about how we relate to our own, to our own brothers and sisters. You know, we've had a hard enough time with agape there. But what about our enemies? Didn't Jesus say, "Love your enemies?" Agape with your enemies -- how do you do it? And it's unconditional, so what does that mean? That's what I have to say.

Paul Eshleman: Could I pursue that?

Rod Sawatsky: Sure, please do.

Paul Eshleman: To any Moonie, how can I show you that I love you?

Dan Davies: I can give you an abstract answer. I would feel you really love me if you love God with all your heart and mind and your whole strength, and also all mankind. If you sacrifice your life for God and that world, then I would feel you really love me.

Paul Eshleman: It's not very concrete to you, though.

Dan Davies: It is, actually. You know, it's hard to imagine, though, how many examples of this love we see. It's easy for us to be nice and pleas ant, but that is far from the highest expression of love.

Warren Lewis: I'm absolutely moved by what Dan just said, because I know his answer is straight from Rev. Moon. That's exactly what Rev. Moon would have wanted said. He would not have wanted Daniel to say, "Well, may I come work for Campus Crusade?" or "Will you come to teach a course at the seminary?" Next time I'm with him, I'll tell him that you're a good boy. (laughter) That's really great.

Tom Carter: Maybe this isn't what Rev. Moon would want me to say. (laughter) To me a love relationship is exactly that -- a love relationship. Yet this weekend, having met some of you and so on, I'm afraid somehow, that this might be the end of that relationship, and I don't want that to happen. So how can I show you I love you? It also means how can you show me you love me? I think we have to find a way to continue our relationship centering on God. Exactly what that means, I don't know. I don't know your specific programs, I don't know what your goals are, exactly, specifically. I'm sure you don't know what ours are. But I'm sure there's a way, for the sake of God, we can continue our relationship, and put our energy and efforts into a common direction, into a something.

Richard Quebedeaux:... because love implies continuance. Anthony Guerra: I feel love from all of you, and I feel love for you. I think love is a vague word, but taking the time to be together in this kind of serious dialogue, and further, for many of us, taking risks for each other, is love. I know, for example, Dr. Hopkins, who wrote a fair article on our first evangelical dialogue and received persecution for it, is a man who knew very well what he was doing in writing the article and that he would probably receive that kind of response. I felt that was an act of love and something I appreciate very much. Many of you are coming from backgrounds and from friends and colleagues who probably dislike Unification. If they, for instance, are on the extreme left politically, I am sure you will have to bear some criticism because we are anti-communist. If you are in an academic setting, your professors might suspect you are in danger of losing your critical powers of thinking. I would certainly cast your attendance here under these circumstances as love. Our church has for years received persecution from quarters with which you would identify yourselves, and yet the fact we have opened our seminary and invited you here, and we welcome you in the deepest sense, this is our expression of love for you. For all of us, our commitments that we will continue to do this is a further test.

Thomas Bower: I think that Dan's statement is something we dare not take lightly. I've been in both the liberal and conservative wings of the Presbyterian church. I think both need what Dan said about a theology of love. I was hit by it. I had really never heard that before either in the liberal or the evangelical wing of my church, and in many ways I would claim that neither wing really knows how to love, either. They both claim they know how to love better than the other wing. I have some questions about it.

Jonathan Wells: I'm also moved by the reciprocal nature of this relationship. I think that when we're talking about love, part of it involves confidence in each other. You know we're not going to leave here and bad-mouth you. 1 think one of my supper comments makes it clear that your press is as bad as ours is (laughter) in some places, and a dialogue like this, especially when it continues, gives us a foundation to testify to you as much as you can testify to us, of our basic desire to do God's will. And I think that's important.

Warren Lewis: Straddling the fence as I do, and genuinely trying to see it from both sides, I'm asking myself the question, "What does each side of this conversation have to gain from the other side?" At the level of genuine religion and morality, is there a trade-off between Evangelicals and Unificationists? I will try to formulate theologically what I could see happening. On the one hand, the Unification movement was born in a charismatic context in Korea. I am researching the roots of the movement and writing a book to be published by Beacon Press next year. It's clear to me at this point that the Unification movement is a cooled-off pentecostal movement; the experience of the gifts is a kind of an unexploded hand grenade. It's all there ready to go off. If I could get my Moonies together with some real charismatics, the potential for genuine, biblical, Spirit-directed charismatic piety would be great. It would be yet another Pentecost. That's what they could get from that kind of evangelical Christianity. In exchange for that, what they've got to offer is a specific charisma which St. Paul puts in the list: revelation. The Apostle Paul lists the gifts -- tongues, singing, preaching, and words of wisdom, discernment of spirits, and includes revelation as one of the charismas of the spirit. Without getting into the particulars of Rev. Moon's doctrine, as a church historian I want to say that Sun Myung Moon, whether he's the Lord of the Second Advent or not, is probably the greatest living religionist alive. He is of the caliber of a Thomas, or a Luther, or an Augustine. He is a great living saint and mystic, and we will write about him for a thousand years in church history books.

Now, what do these great people contribute to the great church? One thing they contribute is a new vortex for the human storm during their lives. They come on the scene full of foolishness and full of potential. I wish Don were still here: think of Luther! What a difficult character he was, and yet how important he is to us all! What a fool Calvin was! Talk about the "puppet master!" Calvin's influence in Geneva was horrendous, and yet we wouldn't be anywhere without Calvin today. Now, Moon is with us. To live in his proximity, to know him, to eat supper with him, to watch him and his wife, to watch a truly great man of that caliber reformulate the Christian faith from his perspective, as Thomas and issue something that is genuinely new, something we've never had before in the history of the Christian faith -- namely oriental Christianity -- is an experience of revelation. Thoroughgoing oriental Christianity didn't exist before Moon. We're in the presence of a creative, theological novelty. The Unificationists have that to contribute, with everything it means. As an historian of Christian thought, I could literally go on for hours about what it means; and that's why I'm writing a book which I hope you will all buy and read, (laughter) I want to keep it in the charismatic context: Moon is a charisma that God has given the church, a special gift of heavenly grace.

My other point is this: the Unificationist understanding of Christianity and Jesus is that it is the highest religion. But half of these folk are, at best, half-pagan. Most of my Unificationist friends don't have much of a background in Christianity, haven't lived with it all their lives, like a lot of us Evangelicals have. Now, I know a lot of you guys are probably converts, too; but many Christians forget that most of the Moonies are half pagans; they're still learning and they admit it. They're still learning to catch up with us spiritually, because Rev. Moon has defined that Jesus Christ is the highest spirit in the universe. They're trying to internalize that teaching and they're trying to experience it. So, if they could rub shoulders with you Jesus-freak Evangelicals, then, the spirit of Jesus, whom they are taught to love and revere and worship and pray to and try to internalize, would rub off on them. And that would be good for them.

Patrick Means: I'm available for shoulder-rubbing, (laughter)

Warren Lewis: In return for that, in return for that close spiritual proximity (this is really off the wall, but I've got to say it) they could give you morality. I don't know an evangelical or pentecostal enclave where about half the people aren't messing around with the other half of the people. I often go to evangelical and pentecostal groups where the preacher is having an affair with the deacon's wife and the pianist is having an affair with the youth minister. Why is that?

Sharon Gallagher: That's a generalization you're making, Warren.

Warren Lewis: Well, that's my personal experience. If your place is doing better than my generalization indicates, then I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. But I've tried to think theologically about this as well as emotionally, and I ask myself, why is this generally the case? Why is it that America is a moral wasteland? Why is it that the Christians are as susceptible to that as the pagans are? Why is there not a clear fix on sexual morality. As I was growing up, what could they tell me that would keep me out of bed with my girlfriend? "Jesus doesn't want me to?... The Bible says I shouldn't?... It's against the Ten Commandments?" All of that remained external, and unless I could be scared sufficiently of eternal hellfire, none of that stuff ever washed for me. It didn't wash for any of my friends, either, and I've never heard anybody yet from a standard Christian theological base make a cogent argument why you "shouldn't." I shouldn't quote stories from Harvard (we all know they're liberal), but usually the best reason there was, "It's not good for your person." And that made more sense. Now, what Unificationists have got is a rational program that is directly rooted in their theological world view which says it isn't just a "do" or a "don't" for Christian boys and girls. It relates directly to the innermost, essential nature of God. Every time one of God's children commits fornication or adultery, it absolutely rends the Father's heart because it tears Him in two. And there's a lot more to it than that, but the effect is that you've got people who are living for genuine holiness in an unholy world. And that's great stuff.

John Scanzoni: But Warren, that notion has been present certainly in pietistic Christianity, that rending of the Father's heart, that you're really obeying Christ because of an intimate personal relationship with Him. I don't think that's been absent, but it is certainly not part of the standard fare that is preached on Sunday morning because of the reasons that we were hearing this morning. But certainly it's been there. And that's been the motivation where it's worked to keep Evangelicals in a traditional obedience to the Ten Commandments.

Richard Quebedeaux: Yes, but I have to agree in terms of my experience. I agree exactly with you, Warren. I don't have to tell you, but everything he said is true in my experience, and I know that there are others here who would say the same. There are others whose experience is different.

John Scanzoni: But that's not the point. The point is we had that in our tradition.

Warren Lewis: You have to be patient with me 30 seconds more. That doesn't get it yet for the Unificationists. Because God for them is both male and female, God distilled His very essence in the first incarnation of His Logos and wisdom, which are His external attributes, in Adam and Eve. But, because of their sexual abuse of love, the original sin distorted all of human society in a pervasive, Freudian way. Unificationists thus have a theological grounding for morality, and for an indemnification of sexual immorality, which we do not have in traditional Christianity.

It isn't just that feeling of, "Oh, dear, it will hurt our Father in Heaven's feelings if we do it," but that the very Tao of the universe will be disrupted.

Evangelical X: But the problem there is that it exalts sexual sin. It gives it a proportion that is simply not in the Bible, at least from a traditional orthodox point of view. And it overlooks so many other sins, which are far more catastrophic in terms of their consequences.

Warren Lewis: That's easy to say when your great teacher was a celibate Jesus, a celibate Paul, and a widower named Peter. But we don't get good clear teaching from Scripture on sexuality and family life precisely because we're dealing with perpetual virgins. And that was capitalized upon by 1500 years of Roman Catholicism, which left us simply without decent teaching about sexual morality. We've had to do patchwork there. The Moonies, now, are saying: God has revealed Himself as a family.

Sharon Gallagher: I would like to say that I'm very grateful that I don't run in the same circles as Warren and Richard, and I'm glad what has been described here is not in my experience at all. I'd like to say that in my church and community, people are excommunicated for sexual immorality that we know about. In the Christian evangelical school I went to it was the same thing, and I think if anything, sexual sin is overly stressed. I don't think that it should be ignored, but it has been stressed to the exclusion of almost any other sin.

Evangelical X: That's exactly right.

Warren Lewis: Oh, I perfectly agree with that. The question is, are you as good at putting sinners back together again as you are at excommunicating? I know precious few who are.

Evangelical X: Well, Sharon's point may not be the same kind of answer that you're arguing it is.

Charles Barfoot: I'd have to say that at least in classical pentecostalism, ministers are defrocked for immorality for at least a year, and that stigma usually stays with them unfortunately.

Jonathan Wells: The point that interests me about this particular approach is that I find that Unification theology gives me an internal strength that I did not find in traditional Christianity for prevention of this problem. As I listen to this, personally, I'm less concerned with how we punish somebody after the fact, than how we build in people the internal fortitude to overcome it altogether. And you can say that other sins are more damaging, but I would say, consistent with Unification theology, that they all can be traced back to a form of selfishness which is best overcome on the personal level by this kind of internal strength that we're talking about.

Dan Davies: One thing I can see, in terms of what Warren is saying, is that in looking at Christianity in terms of a process, right now evangelical Christianity is a bastion of morality for the Christian world. But isn't it true that evangelical Christianity is beginning to liberalize now, and that as it begins to liberalize and take a different view of the Bible, then Evangelicals' morals may begin to deteriorate? That's a real great danger. Frankly, I don't want to see that happen. I mean, I'd like to see narrow attitudes toward the Bible change, but I don't want to see morality deteriorate.

Evangelical Y: There's no official policy, Quebedeaux excluded here, for Evangelicals. They're not liberalizing; they're not becoming worldly -- you know, Richard claims they are -- and they may be going through a transition, but there's no attempt to liberalize sexual morality.

Dan Davies: No. It just happens. I can see it in the dorm at Perkins. People who are liberal tend to think much less about sexuality.

Evangelical Y: There's no policy. People may be behaving that way, but no one's sitting down and saying, "Well, now we're becoming more sophisticated."

Dan Davies: No, but it's happening.

Evangelical Y: Well, it may be happening. We don't really know.

Dan Davies: I know.

Evangelical Y: Well, you don't actually know in terms of actual numbers and statistics. We still know, for example, that people who are religious, who are devout, are much less likely to engage in pre-marital sex than people who aren't. It's still a very powerful indicator. It's not quite the barrage of sexual looseness that some people think it is.

Richard Quebedeaux: You're right. It's not like the rest of the world, so to speak. I can say that if you just check it out, you'll find out that it's true that there is a liberalizing trend. And I must say, I am impressed with what Warren said about the Moonies because there is something there that is true. There is something foundational about sexual morality that turns me on to it. I have to agree with you that there's nothing from my evangelical background that has ever turned me on to sexual morality. There's a lot of hypocrisy. There have been rules; there's been the threat of hell, you know, but there is something about you Moonies, that even if people accuse you of really being sexually immoral, I can say they're basically crazy.

Let ha Scanzoni: I don't think you've read my book! I've for years been talking about an evangelical view of sexuality in a very positive way, and it's called the Joy of Sexuality. Sexuality is something positive, but there are abuses of sexuality, and if we want God's best for us, we will be watching...

Richard Quebedeaux: O.K.! I think you're right. I think inherently in Christianity that's the way it ought to be, but I find there is very little power there to really do that and to really feel that. Most people I know in seminaries -- Catholic, Anglican, "liberal" -- when you talk about being celibate, who's celibate? Celibacy is a joke! You know, where and with whom are you doing it? The fact is that people just don't believe it's possible. But I feel that it is possible. I feel it is a gift, a vocation, and there's something about the Unification people that makes me really believe it's possible. Sex is creative, and ought to be reserved for marriage; it is joyous, and there's something very holistic about it. I'm not saying that all Evangelicals are out screwing around all the time -- that's a great exaggeration -- but in my experience, there is a great deal of truth in Warren's point.

Patricia Zulkosky: Somehow we dragged this in from the question of how we can work together, and I find that to be unfortunate. I think morality is something that touches each one of us, because sexuality is one of the most precious things to ourselves, and we hate to see and to hear that these problems are going on, and often we hate to face the things that we've done in our own lives. So I can appreciate this kind of struggle, but I would hope that somehow we could swing back around to the question of how we can work together.

Evangelical X: Pat, I disagree. I think that that is a very relevant topic. Warren's premise was that he felt this is what Unificationists could give us Evangelicals, and then Richard followed up by saying in his judgment it was empirical fact that we needed that, and we've been disputing that, (laughter)

Thomas Bower: I have to agree with Richard on that. I've worked with young people; I have worked in an evangelical school, and I'm now not in an evangelical school. I don't see very much difference, to be honest with you, between the evangelical school and the secular school. I think that adds to the pile of empirical facts, which we needn't go into, but I believe we're on to something very important.

Patricia Zulkosky: So long as it continues in a direction of Divine Principle.

Jonathan Wells: I'd like to make it clear, just so we know we're working together, that Unificationists aren't accusing Evangelicals of immorality.

Patrick Means: Oh, no. It was Richard! (laughter)

Warren Lewis: Why doesn't Richard write a new book: The Sexy Evangelicals'! (laughter)

Evangelical X: I think Jon has a very good point. It's like the old saying "the squeaky wheel is the one you always pay attention to." I don't believe that we don't have problems. We have weekends where we work with 100-150 college-age kids and we deal with the business of sexuality, because it's an important relationship.

Warren Lewis: And there's a real problem.

Evangelical X: Yes, sociologists and men and women of that caliber, sit there and listen to that stuff and say, "I wonder how much research he's ever really done. Listen to him. They probably know two people who've gotten into trouble, so they start telling everybody, but they haven't done any research." So whenever we talk about these things I think we ought to be very careful to do research. I think another thing we've got to realize, which was said today, is that there are many phases of evangelicism.

Paul Eshleman: We're doing a number of things in Campus Crusade in that regard. After the Congress on the Family several years ago, we initiated a number of different things within our movement. We first of all started setting up conferences for people who were engaged, just to be sure there was a commitment there ahead of time, and to understand what marriage is. One of our key speakers who travels continually, Josh McDowell, speaks on a Christian view of sex. We're speaking in classrooms in many, many universities on a Christian perspective on love, sex, and marriage. Within our movement we don't tolerate sexual immorality, because you can't have that close intimate relationship with the Father if you're in willful rebellion against Him in that area of your life. When you get close to the Lord, the overwhelming desire is, "I want to be a clean vessel of the Lord."

Dan Davies: I think that Evangelicals and Unificationists share a common concern about morality, but I see a problem in the future of the possibility of morality declining even further. As Jonathan has asked, how do we at this time unite to solve the horrendous problems of immorality in our society? In California I believe the divorce rate is higher than the marriage rate. What's going to happen if our morality gets any worse? Things aren't getting better morally; frankly, they're getting worse. What are we going to do about that?

Richard Quebedeaux: And there's another kind of immorality besides sexual immorality. There are things like racism, sexual discrimination, and poverty. God does not will poverty on anybody; poverty is not good for anybody, and I think you people are concerned about those things too.

Franz Feige: What has hurt me the most deeply in the history of Christianity is that there were people, groups and churches believing very fervently in God, and yet splitting up and persecuting one another, instead of working together for the same goal -- to change the heart of man. I believe that if we want to work together we have to get the answer from God. I believe that the degree of unity that can come about depends upon our unity with God, our seriousness in trying to serve God. I think the beginning of anything should be praying together, asking God how we can work together. On that basis we can try to find goals that we both agree on, trying to help to change the people's hearts, because both the Evangelicals and the Moonies are interested in changing people's hearts. So, if we focus on that, based on prayer, then God will inspire us; because God is the one most interested in changing the world, more than we are.

Rod Sawatsky: Any comments?

Joseph Hopkins: Here's something to think about with regard to cooperation on an official level. I don't identify with Paul's anger in putting down the Judaizers. At the same time, I can't imagine Paul, even if he hadn't been angry, cooperating with the Judaizers. He felt they were guilty of a heresy which occasioned an emphatic warning to the Christian community with regard to a legalistic requirement for salvation added to faith. We Evangelicals look at Unification theology in somewhat the same way. We see it as "another gospel," where something is being added to simple faith in Jesus Christ as the basis for salvation. If we really are committed to that position, then we must be careful lest friendly cooperation be construed as endorsement. If Campus Crusade and Inter-Varsity were to work side by side with CARP on a college campus, that would be a way of telling the community, "Let's be tolerant: these people aren't so far off base," and so on -- instead of warning them, "Now here is a heresy which is subverting the Christian message." It would create a kind of an acceptance that most of us, as Evangelicals, would not want to encourage. I have to be frank and say that, though I say it in love. I don't love the Moonies any less, but I feel that I couldn't work in an official relationship of cooperation, at least on the local level.

Franz Feige: What would be the concrete problem?

Joseph Hopkins: Well, the danger, I think, would be the same as that we read about in the book of Galatians, that the "other gospel" the Judaizers were fostering militated against the gospel which Paul was preaching, the gospel of salvation by faith alone -- making a faith response to the atoning sacrifice of Christ as the means of reconciling us sinners to our Heavenly Father.

Franz Feige: Are you talking about losing converts?

Joseph Hopkins: No, I'm not worried about that. That isn't the threat. The threat is to those who might be drawn into the movement through my cooperation with it. It's a matter of encouraging a philosophy or religion that I feel undermines the Christian gospel. In other words, if I am committed to steering young people in a direction of faith in Christ alone as the basis of their salvation, I should be steering them away from what I believe to be false beliefs -- the sexual basis of the fall, the unique role of Rev. Moon as prophet -- messiah in fact -- the whole structure of Unification theology.

Warren Lewis: Do you cooperate ecumenically with Catholics and Jews? Do you ever do any ecumenical things with Catholics or Jews?

Joseph Hopkins: Yes, I've spoken in a Jewish synagogue.

Warren Lewis: Why is it O.K. to believe in Mary but not Rev. Moon?

Richard Quebedeaux: Catholic charismatics are getting back into the rosary. What you're talking about is, if Evangelicals do anything with Moonies it tends to legitimize them and cause some rethinking. Well, as I said before, dialogue always involves the risk of conversion.

Joseph Hopkins: I'm in favor of dialogue. In the Jewish synagogue I dealt with the points of agreement, and then points of disagreement. It was in a friendly context, and I wasn't pushy about my belief in Jesus Christ. But dialogue is different than entering into an official relationship of cooperation on a college campus or in a local community.

Dan Davies: I would like to bring out something Dr. Hopkins said. Frankly, I think none of us are really preaching the Christian message. Not Unificationists, not Evangelicals, no one. Why? Because our example is our strongest sermon. Until every church in this country is a living example of what we preach, we can't really say we're preaching. What we are doing is reducing our faith to doctrines. Let's take a look at this from the point of view of those people we're attempting to influence, the secular world. What do people want? Do they want to hear about doctrine? They couldn't care less about our theology and our philosophy. They ask, "What do you have to offer me? What do you have to offer the world?" And because we haven't really offered much to the world, communism has been able to step in where we have failed. That's why it's affecting young people. That's why drugs come in. That's why we're finding ourselves confronted with a very serious ideological problem. And unless we get together and start living what we're preaching and make that our criterion, I think we're going to find ourselves in serious trouble.

Nora Spurgin: I just want to talk a little bit about goals. Even if we may not all have the same personal philosophy of life, we should be able to unite around a goal. If that goal is to make Evangelicals out of people, then of course the two of us cannot work side by side. Nor can we work together if the goal is to make Unification church members out of people. But if the goal is some other issue, around which we can both unite, it seems to me we could work together. Rev. Moon often says that our goal is to build the kingdom of heaven on earth, and anything we do that promotes or works toward that goal is of God; that's God's will. But basically, if you put it in light of the guidelines we've been given, what we're working toward, to build the kingdom of heaven, is God's will. If we're working against that then we're pleasing Satan, and therefore not doing God's will. So if we're working jointly with anyone to raise the moral consciousness or to make a better world, we feel we're doing God's will no matter who it is we're working with. But, if whatever we're doing side by side with even somebody who is a very wonderful Christian but who's working against God or feeding into Satan's world, then we would consider that not good. So I'd just like to put the emphasis on the ultimate goal.

Evangelical Y: Let me ask Nora or someone else perhaps from the Unificationists if you all would work side by side with a Marxist inner-city development project where the goal had nothing to do with philosophy, but it was simply helping people socially. Would you work side by side with communists?

Tom Carter: I think there are situations where we would work together, if the goal isn't to turn young people into Marxists. I've been wondering, could we rub shoulders if nobody said anything about their beliefs, to dig the foundation for a new youth home for somebody else? That's a very practical or very simplistic example. I think we could picket with Marxists at pornography theaters. And we could work with pornographers against the encouragement of communism in our society and feel no contradiction, or compromising of our faith, because both of those goals work toward accomplishing our goal of establishing the kingdom of God on the earth.

Warren Lewis: That's an honest answer. In terms of the plans for the Global Congress, the question came up almost immediately: Do Marxists get to come to the Global Congress of World Religions? -- Marxism is a world religion! That was a hard one, but the word has come down from higher up: "Yes. If they want to be there, and really want to deal with the other religious people in the world in a responsible way, then they have a right to be there, too."

Tom Carter: Also, Marxists come to our science conferences.

Rod Sawatsky: I've been wondering if maybe one of the things that could be done together is a conference on the family. Moonies love conferences on many things (laughter) -- science, world religions, and so on. Maybe the two groups could get together and do something on the family sometime, and maybe if Moonies like that idea they could even speak to the Scanzoni's and see if they would like to do something with them on an international conference on the family. Let's move on -- is this a quickie?

Jonathan Wells: Yes. There's another level entirely that I think is open as a possibility, and that's prayer. For example, I pray that Evangelicals succeed in teaching people in Russia about Jesus Christ. I've prayed that many times. When the Campus Crusade Fellowship has Bible classes, I pray that they'll get a big crowd. And it's a sincere prayer. Now, I'm not going to tell you what to pray, but I think it's possible we can pray for each other on a level of heart, not just "I hope all those Moonies will join Campus Crusade." (laughter) I know you could pray that, too, I mean, I could pray that all you people join our church, too. But prayer on the level of heart, that's my suggestion. It's food for thought...


1 Subsequent to this dialogue, formal Divine Principle classes have been added. 

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